Photo by Fabrice Poussin

by Juleigh Howard Hobson

The Down Side of Putting Yourself in an Emotional Jar

And what happens when you put yourself in
A jar, and tightly screw the lid down? You
Become set apart, you become something
Unincluded. You’d think it would be to
Your advantage, that you’d be able to see
Through the glass but not be touched. It doesn’t
Work like that. The minute you let it be
Known that you can’t be reached, you’re not. Resent
It all you want, it won’t change. People put
Jars away–no one checks with the insides
Before some cupboard door is firmly shut
On them. No one waits while a jar decides
Whether to reopen or not. A jar
Doesn’t get considered. And there you are.


Philadelphia Foreclosure as Metaphor for the American Dream

Sunlight plays across the house’s yellow
Walls—any paint has long since peeled away
After years of pelting rain and high snow—
While the damp-softened roof falls in.  Decay
And neglect have run riot here, from sill
To threshold they have left green mold, gritty
Dirt, shattered glass, water damage that will
Never be addressed or repaired. Pity
And anger are all that can be applied—
Pity for the house because it didn’t
Do anything wrong but exist inside
Of time itself… anger for those who wouldn’t
Lift a hand to do a thing, who left this
Once fine place just a mess they will not fix.


He Who Could Not

 He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches. 
  -George Bernard Shaw “Maxims for Revolutionists”

You’d been dead fifteen years when I thought to
Look you up again, see how you were, what
You were doing, if that book you said you
Were going to write was written, if that
Class you taught was still going or if it
Finally let you live your life like you said
It would have to one day so you could sit
In some café in Budapest, your head
In the clouds, writing away, apt to stray
Anywhere your fancy might take you… But
None of that happened. You died, and today
I found out. It was a blow to the gut
To learn you died at home, retired, sick
Not planning to leave. I hope it was quick.


About the photographer: Fabrice B. Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, The San Pedro River Review, and more than 250 other publications. This photo is titled “Home.”